Hodges on fire at waka ama

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Turi Hodges says emo­tion came over him in waves after his big waka ama win.

The 43-year-old Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club stal­wart won one of the blue rib­bon events at the re­cent sprint na­tion­als on Lake Kara­piro, the masters men’s W1 500m.

He said he ‘‘com­pletely blew’’ his semi- fi­nal, so was in the slow­est lane for the fi­nal.

‘‘There was the heat, I’d put time in coach­ing and my train­ing hadn’t been the best – I was shat­tered,’’ he said. ‘‘It wasn’t a good look for the club cap­tain to be slow­est qual­i­fier, es­pe­cially after the mes­sages we have been push­ing with the ju­niors.’’

Hodges’ home suf­fered a house fire last year, and he said much of his at­ten­tion since had been on coach­ing and on paint­ing his house.

For the fi­nal, he used his big­gest pad­dle and gave it ev­ery­thing he had.

At the fin­ish, he couldn’t see any of his ri­vals and thought he’d fin­ished last.

See­ing club sup­port­ers in their dis­tinc­tive blue colours go­ing crazy on the bank was a mo­ment he’ll never for­get.

‘‘I lost con­trol and gave a huge fist pump, not some­thing I’d nor­mally do.

‘‘This win was for my club and mates and ev­ery­one who sup­ported my fam­ily. ‘‘I was just so happy. ‘‘For peo­ple to say I was an in­spi­ra­tion was very hum­bling.’’

It was Hodges’ sec­ond suc­ces­sive ti­tle in the event, and ranked up with his world and na­tional long-dis­tance ti­tles, he said.

His good mate and ri­val Grant Bar­rib­all was sixth, three seconds be­hind Hodges.

Hodges also claimed third place in the premier men’s 250m dash, ce­ment­ing his spot among the lead­ing pad­dlers in the coun­try.

The club ea­gerly awaited the Kara­piro event each Jan­uary, Hodges said.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing – re­ally well run and the at­mos­phere is great.

‘‘You know it’s come a long way when you see drones out over the course.’’

He said the re­gatta was a mixed bag for Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club, with sev­eral medals won and a fifth plac­ing over­all in the club points.

Get­ting the ju­nior pad­dlers to ex­pe­ri­ence a na­tion­als and hav­ing many par­ents also tak­ing part in the sport was im­por­tant, he said.

Hodges and his club­mates are now look­ing to­wards the longdis­tance na­tion­als in Whangarei in April.

His sis­ters per­formed with dis­tinc­tion on Lake Kara­piro — Mere­ana was fourth in the masters women’s W1 500m, Mar­i­anna was third in the premier women’s W1 500m and the W1 250m and Ter­e­moana was in the masters crew that won the W6 500m race.

Other Porirua pad­dlers and crews to win medals in­cluded Toa’s No­ho­rua crew, who took gold in the in­ter­me­di­ate men’s W6 500m race, Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club’s Te Pua Inano premier women’s team, who won sil­ver and bronze medals, and Mana Menz from Mana Pasi­fika Outrig­ger Ca­noe Club, who won a sil­ver and a bronze.

Ti­tahi Bay’s Marty McDow­ell, pad­dling for an Auck­land club, fin­ished third in the premier men’s W1 500m.


Golden boy: Turi Hodges dur­ing his hard-fought masters men’s W1 500m fi­nal.

Hard yards: Toa’s J16 crew Puaha in their W6 500m heat. From left, Michael Joshua Matthew Davies, Niko­rima Nut­tall, Te Paki O Hewa McKen­zie, Te­maia-o-Tipene McKen­zie, Vaine Mata­maru Mooar-Tangi, and Win­ham Al­lenMur­ray.

Na­tional champs: Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club’s masters women’s crew Tai­ma­nia win gold in the W6 500m race. From left, El­iz­a­beth Pari­akatea Sav­age, Naomi Brook­ing, Pa­nia Mar­garet Ta­hau-Hodges, Sarah Snow, Se­lena Anne Katene and Ter­e­moana Pearl HodgesTulepu.

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